ArenaNet has announced a new expansion for Guild Wars 2 called Path of Fire, which will be the MMO’s second expansion, following up Heart of Thorns. Players can play Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire as soon as September 22, with pre-orders for the Standard, Deluxe, and Ultimate editions already available. The Standard edition of Path of Fire is even selling for a very affordable $30, which is an outstanding deal when paired with the free base Guild Wars 2 game.

With base Guild Wars 2 being free, all new players need to buy to join in on the new expansion is Path of Fire and the Heart of Thorns expansion is not required. But if players want in on the whole game with both expansions, ArenaNet is also offering a $50 bundle that includes the base game, Heart of Thorns, and Path of Fire. All that’s missing are the three seasons of Living Story, which would be a hefty investment on top of the expansions.

Path of Fire alone is a bulky expansion, a “Content” expansion according to ArenaNet where Heart of Thorns was a “Feature” expansion. What that means is that players should expect plenty to do in Path of Fire, including five new large maps to explore said to be larger than everything added in Heart of Thorns and then Season 3 beyond it. Mounts are also coming to Guild Wars 2, helping to explore the vast Crystal Desert and beyond.

And then there’s a new Elite Class Specialization for each player to unlock as well. If that’s not enough Season 4 of the Living Story is promised to pick up quickly after Path of Fire‘s launch.

What everyone is really excited for in Path of Fire has everything to do with lore. In Path of Fire players are finally returning to Elona, one of the original Guild Wars’ most popular regions. Over 200 years have passed since players last visited Elona in the Guild Wars Nightfall expansion, so seeing what’s changed is a highly anticipated feature in Path of Fire.

Elona isn’t the only region players will be revisiting, as the Crystal Desert will also open up to players. The Crystal Desert may not be as well-liked as Elona, though perhaps the Prophecy expansion’s legacy has softened in recent years.

To justify the excursion south into the Crystal Desert and beyond, ArenaNet has made a villain out of the Guild Wars god Balthazar. Players of the original Guild Wars will remember Balthazar being prominent among the PvP-centric Battle Isles, where the Zaishen Order prayed to him. Balthazar, once one of humanity’s greatest allies, now cares little for anything beyond his goal of destroying an Elder Dragon and setting Tyria aflame. The world of Guild Wars 2 is not prepared for what’s in store.

Guild Wars 2 and its first expansion Heart of Thorns are available now exclusively on PC. Path of Fire is planned to launch starting September 22, though two demos are planned: a PvE demo from August 11-13 and an unscheduled PvP demo. Expect more information soon.

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