Guild Wars 2 was always subscription-free, but since August you don't even need to buy it to play. That's kinda free-to-play, but sorta not, since the base game hasn't been filled with loads of extra microtransaction bits to squeeze players. What won't be free is its expansions, and today the first of those arrived. Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns [official site] launched this morning. Doing all the usual expansion things - new areas, a new class, new enemies, new items, and so on - Heart of Thorns costs £35.
Heart of Thorns ventures into the Maguuma jungle to fight a nasty old dragon. Its new profession is the Revenant, who, in lore terms, draws upon heroes of the past. In what-you-actually-do terms, revenants are a heavily armoured and hit things with melee weapons but can change how they play a fair bit by using different stances. All professions get new elite specialisations opening up extra weapons and skills too, and a new 'Mastery' system adds a new progression track bringing new abilities like hang-gliding. Plus new raids and whatnot. ALSO it features an adorable species of friendly frog people.
On the PvP side, it finally adds Guild Halls, along with new modes, leaderboards, leagues, and so on.
A hefty update launched alongside the expansion too.
I played hundreds of hours of the first Guild Wars (I still remember sections of the Droknar's Forge run) but have never touched Guild Wars 2. I might pop in this weekend, now it'll probably be buzzing with new players, returnees, and general excitement. Here, have a launch trailer: