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Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns - Stronghold mode preview

Taking a look at the new PvP mode coming to Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns - Stronghold. Does it suck, or does it rock?

I love Guild Wars 2, but throughout my time in the Mists, I've gotten bored of the PvP. While it gained in popularity in the world, it waned in my world. I just wasn't a good enough close-quartered fighter. No matter how much I played, I never found myself quick enough with my abilities to take out my oponnents. 

Which is why I approached my time in the last Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns beta weekend with trepidation. I knew that I was going to be focusing on the new sPvP more, Stronghold. Not wanting to let my team down by not throwing myself at my assignment, I jumped into the Mists head first, into the fray once more with my baby revenant.

For those of you unfamiliar with this new mode, it takes elements from MOBAs, Guild Wars 1, World vs World, throws them all into the mystic fountain and comes out with two lanes of PvP goodness. 

MOBAs you ask? That's right. You pick up supply in the center courtyard of the map (which quickly becomes a fierce battleground), or from the corpse of dead oponents, and spend it on minnions. These door breakers or archers charge along one of the two lanes on the map towards the enemy keep lying across the map. They're not very smart, and they're not very tough, so you'll need to babysit these clueless companions as they do their best to help you take down the enemy lord. 

The keeps that you and your oponent hold at the begining of the match are guarded by two gates and ten AI-controlled defenders. Their goal and yours is to keep the lord from being killed, as once that happens, the match is lost. 

On top of all this, you'll find yourself fighting dastardly foes for control over the ability to commune with the spirits of heroes past to call for their help. At the begining of each match, you'll chose from one of three heroes to equip, and then once you gain control of communing points, you'll be able to spawn a heroe, a sort of super-minion, who will charge at the enemy keep, laying waste to all in their path. 

What I like most of all in this mode is that it's easy to be stupid. You can get sucked into useless fight all over the map, pushing forward towards the enemy keep as your opponents take down the last gate to you keep and attack your lord. 

Not only that, but on this map, while it does rely on plenty of group work to be succesful, there is plenty that you're able to do solo and actually be effective. This can't be said for all the other PvP maps and modes available in Guild Wars 2. 

Once Heart of Thorns come out, I know that I'll be jumping into Stronghold often. My revenant will be flitting across the map, kicking ass and taking names. What about you? 

Published Aug. 22nd 2015

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