Assassins and Adventure!

Today we got some very interesting news about two more upcoming features of the Heart of Thorns expansion!  As we have expected for some time, the last core legend of the Revenant was today revealed to be Shiro the Assassin.  And it honestly couldn’t have been a more welcome addition to the Revenant’s kit, since the other aspects hit about as hard as a kitten eyelash!  The other big news item is that GuildWars 2 will be getting a new way to play called ‘Adventures’.

The Revenant’s new DPS spec seems to drop the last piece of the puzzle into what is looking like a very versatile (if not very nimble) class.  Along with the announcement that Shiro would be the last legendary stance came the news that both main-hand and off-hand sword will now be available to the profession.  So if you want to really BECOME Shiro, you can get pretty close, wielding twin blades just like the ancient assassin!

The official post has some very interesting details about three of the new sword skills and three of the new Shiro skills, but I’m sure we will see the rest on the next Points of Interest.  Shadow-stepping, life-stealing, and mobility hinders seem to be the name of the game with the new skills, so Thieves are probably going to feel a few of their toes being stepped on, but it looks like they’re differentiating these abilities enough that the assassin-specced Revenant will still seem like it has a unique place.

A little more unexpected was the reveal of the new ‘Adventures’ that will begin showing up with Heart of Thorns.  These are new single-player experiences that bring with them their own leaderboards so that individuals may compete against all other players for daily, weekly, and monthly top scores.  At this time, we’re not sure if they will be propagating backwards through the core game areas, or it they will just show up in the new zones, but a reference in the post to the fact that the new Adventures will leverage the new Mastery systems makes me think that they will extend outward to the core game as well.  I say this because of a sentence in the initial post on Masteries on the official website:

With the launch of Heart of Thorns, there will be two Mastery regions: the Heart of Maguuma, encompassing all PvE zones that are part of the Heart of Thorns expansion, and the core Guild Wars 2 world, encompassing all PvE zones currently available in the game today.

There has been a little bit of controversy over this newly announced addition, with some people complaining that the secret to topping the leaderboard of each Adventure will be out on the internet within a month, and that these things will cease to be fun, but I don’t buy that for a second.  When challenges like this force you to use your wits and reflexes, there are never any silver bullets to automatically achieve greatness.  Those who want to be the best at any particular Adventure will have to work very hard to get there, and some upstart who watches a YouTube video is not going to be able to just jump in there and take his or her crown.

I, for one, was very intrigued by the example Adventure that they shared in the original post, and I couldn’t help thinking of the shooting gallery in Divinity’s Reach.  Oh please, oh please, won’t you finally open that puppy up for business (screenshot at the top of the page)!

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