Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns to implement new desert borderlands map to World vs World

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns Desert

ArenaNet have revealed a new Guild Wars 2 borderlands map for their World vs World PVP mode, at this year’s EGX Rezzed, The new map will be added with the highly anticipated Heart of Thorns expansion pack, which is slated for release later this year, featuring a slew of new content.

Replacing the current borderland maps, the desert themed one will contain all sorts of goodies. Terrain integrated forts, elemental keeps, looming towers, a huge map wide Oasis event and a new siege weapon to top it all off.

Although these new desert maps are set to replace the current “Alpine” borderlands, ArenaNet have said that they will work out some sort of method to reintroduce them in at a later date.

The first major change that the new desert borderlands introduce is a new way in which forts are presented within the game. Instead of being out in the open, usually leading to enemy players being able to easily surround them, forts will use the existing terrain help bolster their defences. This will not only give the defenders a better chance at being able to defend their forts, but will channel the attackers into more concentrated areas, increasing the action.

Three elemental keeps are dotted around the map, offering various air, fire or earth themed boons to the team that captures and holds them.

  • The air keep will grant access to jump pads around the map, allowing your team shortcuts via vertical terrain. Next up are turrets, usually found on bridges around the keep, that will blow out gusts of winds and knock enemies over. Finally, the last boon is the ability to take no fall damage when nearby the canyon surrounding the keep.
  • The fire keep is located deep underground, and is teeming with lava streams and pits. The first bonus it offers is some fire hound eggs, that players can activate to turn themselves into, well, fire hounds. Similar to the air keep, the fire keep also features turrets that will spit out flaming streams of fire. Finally, the last buff is completely immunity to fire, and the burning debuff, allowing a team to freely traverse the lava streams and pits.
  • The earth keep will provide a team will formidable rock walls to restrict enemy movement. Turrets – notice the pattern here – are also a feature of the earth keep, and will periodically slow and cripple nearby enemies. Finally, the third and last buff is a huge sandstorm that envelopes the area around the keep, providing permanent stealth to any friendly players.

Towers are also featured in the desert map, and each with a unique theme. The Mage College for example is guarded by a Mage Lord, who wields many AoE abilities to demolish her foes. The War Depot however is guarded by a giant Charr, who is quite handy with a giant hammer, regularly stun locking his enemies into submission.

Every three hours, a map wide event will spawn, calling everyone to the center of the Oasis. After a 15 minute warning, the event will task nearby players to recover power cores for their server’s team, to help power a mega-weapon in the middle of the map. If a team manages to secure the weapon for their own, it will power up, and repeatedly barrage every enemy tower and keep until their outer gate has been destroyed. This will offer a great comeback mechanic for teams that are lagging behind.

Finally on show was a new siege weapon: the Shield Generator. This device is suited to a support role, with the range of the arrow cart presently in the game. It’s first ability is Force Ball, which knocks all enemies back, before bouncing randomly at its impact location. Force Wall will block a huge area from the enemy, preventing them from moving through. Lastly, Force Dome is a projectile bubble that gives nearby enemies stability, and also deflects other Shield Generator abilities.

You can keep up with the latest Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns news right here.