Guild Wars 2 Secrets of the Obscure Review
Guild Wars 2 is an PC MMORPG that recently announced their 4th expansion to the game; Secrets of the Obscure. The main changes was that moving forward, Guild Wars 2 will be having more frequent updates but smaller in size compared to the previous expansions, while still adopting the Buy to Play model with a smaller price tag.
While it may be a smaller sized expansion it still will provide the following
- New Story Acts
- 2 New Maps
- A New Hub/Town
- Revamped Dailies System & Currency
- New Strike Missions
- New Fractals
- Weaponmaster Training
- This means you can use ALL weapons for any elite spec of your profession
- New Masteries
- New Skyscale Questline/Achievement
- Legendary Armor
- Rifts Hunts
- Runes & Relics Revamp
Guild Wars 2 is an game that is over 11 years old now and it is still striving with a decently high population that will allow you to do any content you want in game with ease. However, as with all new expansion or content, especially ones with a price tag, are they really worth it?
New Story Acts
I don’t want to go into too much details about the storyline to avoid spoilers but, it felt like a fresh breath of air without the oh no, another elder dragon popped up ready to devastate the world, since that gotten a little stale. I really did enjoy the new storyline and pretty hyped to continue with it once more gets released.
Although I still feel like there could of given us a little bit more closure on Ends of Dragons but it is what it is and we’ll make do with it. There may be an Living World expansion that will give that closure considering that’s what they usually do.
The maps are mostly aerial maps, and it’s a love & hate relationship with them for me. If you loose too much altitude, I end up having to teleport to a way-point and get back to where I was. Some “closer” way-points are lower in altitude and technically not possible to get to my destination as there are no Updrafts/leylines around resulting in picking a further way-point. That’s as far as my personal cons will go.
Otherwise, the maps are huge, they are pretty and they have a good mix of everything, from jungle to jade tech to ice fields and I have 100% them all already!!!
The events & metas are fun, exciting, challenging and I have probably spammed most of them countless times by now and still enjoy them (alot more than rifts but that will be another story later on).
Although the meta events seems to use the same “Kill Same Time” mechanics constantly which is a pain considering people derp and don’t pay attention to commanders or chat in general which potentially could just ruin the entire Meta run.
Meanwhile, rewards feels quite unrefined, lacking and ArenaNet might need a second look at it.
It’s big, there only 1 waypoint which is already super annoying and I probably haven’t spent enough time here to really give constructive feedback considering my main hub and afk area is in Armistice Bastion.
Revamped Dailies System & Currency
This is going be very subjective and this is purely my own opinion.
I do really enjoy this new Revamped Daily System called Wizards Vault. It’s gives the users more power in deciding what they really want instead of shoving it down their throats via the old system.
In fact, it is a lot more rewarding, especially to newer players, than the old system. The old system will give users a bunch of things they probably have no idea what to use them on and would spend more time googling, wiki and asking on guilds, discords and reddit for what is Laurels best used for, for example. Or waiting for the right moment to sell off the Mystic Coins so they can have a bit more liquid gold to purchase something for their current goal.
Now, instead of all of that fuss, you can straight out pick what exactly you need (as long as it is there). If there is nothing that fancies you, there are also cosmetic choices from armor to weapons to mounts as well.
Each one you complete will give you the new daily currency called Astral Acclaim. The amount will differ based on which category they belong in, regardless of what those same dailies use to give, the only rewards now from completing them are Astral Acclaim.
Dailies now are split into 3 separate categories
Which can be further split into 3 different play styles
You receive 4 dailies a day, 1 of them is simply logging in that rewards 5 Astral Acclaim and 3 randomly from the list here. You will also receive a completion chest if you finish all 4 that gives 1 gold, 30 Astral Acclaim and 1 Essence of Luck.
You receive 8 weeklies a week (on Monday Reset). You can find the list of quests available here. You will also receive a completion chest if you finish at least 6 of the weeklies, it will give 10 Laurel, 450 Astral Acclaim 1 Tome of Knowledge and 1 Celebration Booster.
While there are 8 weekly quests and you only need to finish 6 to get the chest, you can still complete the last 2 and gain the additional 40 Astral Acclaim each. Each week, from weeklies alone, you will get 320 Astral Acclaim from the quests + 450 Astral Acclaim totaling 770 Astral Acclaim if you complete all 8 weeklies and grab your chest.
Special quests refer to the quarterly season quests that are listed per season. Each season last roughly 90 days and you receive a total of 4 special quests.
The quests provided this quarter for launch ranges from 250 Astral Acclaim to 500 Astral Acclaim. If you finish all 4 of them, you will receive a total of 1350 Astral Acclaim.
You can find the list of available special quests here.
Weaponmaster Training is probably one of the biggest highlights for me for this expansion. This is exclusive for only players who own the Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure expansion. The fact I can use any elite spec weapon for my profession makes builds alot more diverse and fun to theory craft and experiment on.
For example, I always wanted to try a long bow Will Bender combination but the fact that long bow was exclusively locked to Dragon Hunter was quite annoying, but now I can.
Another example would be Conditional Torch on my Reaper but Torch was exclusively locked to Scourge only.
Read more about Weaponmaster Trainer on the official wiki.
Masteries & Skyscale
I had my skyscale prior to this expansion and I went ahead and did the Skyscale quest purely due to it being a Special Quest in Wizard’s vault.
Nevertheless, the quest line was fun, it was a lot faster, a lot shorter, and a lot more accessible than the original skyscale quest line. This should allow more players to have the skyscale mount which is great news. I know plenty of players who never went for skyscale since it was just too long, daunting, difficult or do not own the LW4 expansion.
Mastery wise, there only 3 paths and they are not overly difficult to max out. I have already maxed my SoTO skyscale path and half way through the Research track.
The masteries, all 3 of them are quite essential to the expansion and having them maxed will really improve your experience in the new zone completely in terms of both quality of life or bonus rewards.
The male preview looks awesome, I personally would be going for this new armor however, it just looks like a complete grind fest currently. Even worse than the other legendary armors already in place.
As annoying as that sounds, this decision does make sense to me. It relies solely on you, the player alone, more or less. While the other 3 methods do not, they rely on the community being active also.
I do hope the female legendary armors look just as good as the male ones for the race Asura and Human as those are the only races I currently play, although I do really have no desire to make a Charr or a Norm.
This is just not fun, it’s annoying, it’s boring and it’s just mind numbingly brain dead. This is how Rifts are currently set up for players.
- Use Scan of Rift skill
- Teleport to the nearest Waypoint
- Open up or start killing and fill up kill bar if it already started
- Receive first step rewards
- Pull elite/champ from rift
- Kill elite/champ
- Close Rift
- Receive second step rewards
Now if you want to go ahead and do Tier 2 or Tier 3 rift, you will need to craft Motivation which cost a lot of previous tier materials (or gold from trading post) and do exactly the same as the Tier 1 Rifts.
Not even sure how this passed quality assurance but this isn’t quality, this is straight up boring considering you are grinding over 50+ Tier 1 just to get enough (500) to get your SoTO skyscale and countless more on all three tiers to get the skyscale skin. Not a overly good impression where it’s content that is more or less needed to be done in the mass.
If anything, Rifts are my only issue with the new expansion aside form annoying bugs and what not.
Runes & Relics Revamp
Removing the last set bonus from the Runes and adding it as a separate standalone slot called Relics was actually a very smart move. This allowed me and other users to use other runes instead of basing it purely on the 6th set rune that most people have being doing.
As for how they are presenting the compensation on the legendary runes & relics, I personally don’t have an opinion as I don’t have any legendary runes to begin. However, if it was up to me, I would say, the legendary rune players should be given the legendary relics as a whole, 1 to 1 ratio of how many runes they had. No bits and pieces, no % parts and definitely no hidden agendas. As they were the same system prior to the split, the owners should not be needing to redo it again.
I am personally having tons of fun in Guild Wars 2 latest expansion Secrets of the Obscure. I would totally recommend Guild Wars 2 players to purchase it and enjoy it. The price tag to entertainment value alone is more than it’s worth compared to any other MMORPG or even AAA games out there. After all, there are plenty to do on Guild Wars 2 but at the same time, you could also say, there is nothing mandatory to do as it is all horizontal progression. Whether you start today vs starting next year, you will never be behind, but the difference is the SoTO expansion perks itself such as but not limited to weapon mastery (Although this will require you to finish the first chapter of the story), certain relics or wizard’s vault reward options such as the Legendary Starter kit (which is insane must have value). While you don’t need to do the SoTO story line or play the maps from the get go, the perks itself is a good reason to get it already.