The star of Guild Wars 2‘s latest expansion – Path of Fire – was undoubtedly its mounts. The best I’ve seen in an MMO, with a real sense of weight and inertia and with reason to exist beyond getting you quickly from point A to B. On top of the now-standard new zone and story quests, next week’s big update (Season 4, Episode 3: Long Live the Lich) is introducing a ridiculous new mount, and it looks like an absolute joy to ride around on, as you can see in the trailer within.
The Roller Beetle mount is an inspired bit of design, as befitting Guild Wars 2’s comic-book high fantasy superhero aesthetic. In the front, it’s just a giant scarab beetle that rolls its way around the world. On the back, a techno-magical hoverbike assembly. Together, they add up to a high-powered motorcycle that can ram through obstacles and lets you do ridiculous showboating stunts as you launch yourself off strategically located ramps.
Outside of that fantastic new ride, the next quarterly episode is bringing the usual slab of free content, including a whole new zone (that’ll likely feature plenty of ramps for the beetles), and another chapter in the main story arc. This episode, you’re going up against recurring villain Palawa Joko, a rather jovial/supervillainous lich. For an old dead dude, he’s surprisingly likeable. There’s also a new Fractal being added to the Fractals of The Mists, GW2’s endless dungeon-challenge mode, which should help spice things up a bit.
Guild Wars 2 isn’t the only game getting love from ArenaNet. Despite being 13 years old now, the original Guild Wars got a surprise update recently (as reported by Eurogamer) that greatly increased the maximum level of graphical detail, far extending the view distance and reducing its reliance on chunky low-LOD ‘impostor’ items in the background. Given that the original Guild Wars let you assemble and run with a full party of NPCs, there’s nothing stopping old players from giving it another look now.
While Guild Wars 2 is free to play now, you’ll need the Path of Fire expansion to access this new content, which is currently on sale for £13/$15. Long Live The Lich will be going live on June 26th – make sure you log in to add it to your account for free, or you may need to pay for it later.