Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet has announced the next expansion for its MMO, due out in September. A continuation of Season 3’s “Living World,” the expansion, titled Path of Fire, will take players back to the Crystal Desert, 250 years after the events of the first game. There, players will embark on a quest to defeat Balthazar, the malevolent human god of war and fire, whose goal is to bring chaos and ruin by finding and destroying Kralkatorrik, the elder dragon, which will have catastrophic repurcussions.
The expansion offers five total new open-world zones, including Crystal Desert and the region of Elon from Guild Wars: Nightfall. Additionally, for the first time in Guild Wars 2, mounts will be introduced to help players get around these new zones faster. Each mount in Path of Fire will also have its own special abilities – the raptor mount, for example, featured in Crystal Oasis, has a long jump capability to allow players to pass otherwise impassable gaps. Levelling up mastery of the mounts will improve their skills, helping players get around not only faster, but more efficiently, by also scaling high cliffs and skimming over quicksand.
Each of Guild Wars 2′s nine professions will gain a new elite specialization, which expands of Heart of Thorns’ specializations. The expansions will bring in more weapons, armor sets, and skins, and more new ways to play the game, including bounty hunts and upgrading your own guild hall.
Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire is now available for pre-order, and will launch on September 22. The expansion alone is $29.99 or you can purchase it bundled with the first expansion, Heart of Thorns, for $49.99. If you want to try before you buy, check out ArenaNet’s free preview weekend on August 11 – 13, open to all players, including new ones. Buying Path of Fire will score players one free level 80 boost for a character. In addition, players will get a few bonuses for pre-purchasing: The Spearmarshal’s Gift, which players can use to choose one weapon skin from the Sunspear Weapon Set; the Elonia Envoy title, which helps build relationships as a symbol of friendship and respect; and the exclusive miniature replica of Balthazar himself.