March 3 HoT Demo Overview

Today marks the NDA drop for the YouTubers, Streamers, and other press people who took visits to ArenaNet and NCSOFT last week to try the Heart of Thorns demo, which means a huge flood of articles and videos have come out. I’ve attempted to pick through as much as I can to bring you a brief overview of some of the new info.

If you’d like a list of all the articles and videos from today to peruse on your own with more specific details, you can take a look through this handy dandy list that the reddit community has kindly put together.

With so much info still coming out, you can definitely look forward to more posts and details here on Guild Wars Players as the week goes on.

Story and Environment

Not going to give away any spoilers directly in this post, don’t worry! I can, however, talk a bit about mechanics. One notable difference with this new section of the story is the dialogue. In the Personal Story, we most often saw dialog in cutscenes with animated concept art. In the Living Story dialogue was usually in the form of dialogue boxes that you had to click through. Many disliked that despite being ‘the boss’ in the Living Story, our characters never had voice-overs like in the Personal Story. Not anymore! In this newest bit of story, the dialogue happens primarily through chat bubbles – including our own character! If you’re okay with spoilers, you can watch the video below¬†from Aurora Peachy to see it in action.


The only mastery that the press were able to demo last week was Gliding and Mushroom Jumping, however it gave them the opportunity to check out the masteries panel. Below is a screenshot of the panel that appears when you click on the XP bar (though once you hit 80 it becomes the masteries reward bar).

Courtesy TenTonHammer

Courtesy Ten Ton Hammer

You can start gliding after you jump off of high enough cliffs or plateaus and unsurprisingly, you can only glide for a set amount of time. As you rank up your Glider mastery, you upgrade your glider, allowing you to glide longer, use updrafts, shorter cooldowns, etc.


For the demo, everyone got a try at the new revenant profession. The only two legends they had access to were the ones we already knew of: King Jalis and Malix. Three of the trait lines were also demo’d: Corruption (precision, condition damage), Retribution (toughness, healing), and Invocation (ferocity). Since we’ve already heard so much about the revenant from ArenaNet, the real interesting info from this big meeting comes from being able to see the revenant in action. You can see the character creation and skill from this Ten Ton Hammer video below:

And here is some revenant in action in the new Stronghold PvP mode, courtesy of AspectGG:


Stronghold is the new PvP mode that was announced for Heart of Thorns. Everyone got a chance to play it and based on the post-meeting overviews I’ve heard from a number of the YouTubers present, even the people who usually only PvE really enjoyed this mode! Just like when it was announced at PAX South, many are comparing this new PvP mode to MOBA-style gameplay. The goal is to take down the enemy’s lord. You can summon various NPCs to help you take down gates and fight. I think BogOtter’s video does a great job showcasing and explaining the new mode and why it might be so much fun for PvE players:

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