On the last episode of Points of Interest, host Rubi Bayer and Game Designer Joshua Diaz showed off one of the Central Tyrian Mastery lines arriving in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™. The Pact Commander line will grant you perks, rewards, and abilities in exchange for playing the game and guiding new players.
Unlocking the Pact Mentor Mastery will give you the option to toggle on mentoring mode, which will place a badge next to your name and at your position on the map, as well as giving you a mentor title in chat. It will also provide persistent, permanent swiftness in capital cities for you and everyone in your party. The tag and badge will make it easier for Guild Wars 2 players who take pride in helping others to reach out.
The mentor tag is distinct from a commander tag as it doesn’t cost gold, doesn’t work in World vs. World, and doesn’t allow for the formation of squads. While it’s possible that players could toggle mentoring mode on in order to grief others, Josh said that the key to making the Guild Wars 2 community healthier is to continue to provide tools for altruistic, helpful players as well as a robust reporting system for deterring malicious ones.
The next Mastery, Productive Downtime, grants bonus crafting experience, which Josh said will be very helpful in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. Not only will the expansion add new recipes, but having a high crafting level is necessary for the upcoming legendary precursor crafting Mastery!
Supply-Line Management is a Mastery that will give players access to special vendors across the world. These vendors appear on the map but travel frequently. Some of the items these vendors will trade for karma include both currently unavailable recipes and brand-new recipes. One of the new recipes will allow you to craft a Melandru-inspired backpack.
Noblesse Oblige grants a bonus to the speed at which you can revive other players, and the speed bonus increases if the character you’re attempting to revive is lower level. It will also take away a stack of the downed penalty for the revived character and help to mitigate armor damage.
Mastering Advanced Logistics provides a major convenience—when you gain loot from killing an enemy, it will go directly into your inventory, and you’ll never have to worry about missing a drop again! Josh explained that this perk is not simply activated by default on all characters because it would otherwise be just as convenient for bots; by making it a Mastery, it rewards those who play legitimately.
The design team is planning to grandfather in players who have already done most of the activities in the open world, and each of the story instances from Season 2 of the Living World story will grant a Mastery point, rewarded retroactively. Josh reiterated that every Mastery unlocked by a single level 80 character will be available to every character across the account as a permanent bonus.
Next, Game Director Colin Johanson sat down with Rubi to talk about the first Beta Weekend Event. He gave examples of how the revenant had changed due to feedback from previous testing, including the addition of weapon swapping to the profession and additional rebalancing. One of the goals of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is to create more challenging open-world content, and Colin said that players should find it more necessary to think about their skill bars and how they approach fights as they travel deeper into the Maguuma Jungle.
Colin also discussed how the development team experimented with creating progression for level 80 characters. The initial plan was to add more traits and skills regularly, but that didn’t feel meaningful enough. Antitoxin as a universal skill didn’t hit the mark, and neither did the previous system of earning traits. Colin said that the team is happy with the Mastery system and elite specializations as the foundation for progression in the future, but beta testing is crucial for making sure they feel right. He encouraged beta testers to be sure to leave feedback on the official forums.