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Guild Wars 2 Secrets of the Obscure: Why is it not the best starting point for newcomers?

With the launch of the Secrets of the Obscure expansion, the temptation to embark on this grand adventure might be irresistible. However, before you plunge headfirst into this new journey, it's important to gain some insightful knowledge and heed cautionary advice. While Secrets of the Obscure undoubtedly holds allure, it might not necessarily be the most optimal starting point for newcomers. In this guide, we'll delve into crucial factors to weigh when making your decision.

 


Guild Wars 2 Secrets of the Obscure: Why is it not the best starting point for newcomers?

 

Pros and Cons:

First, let's analyze the pros and cons of Secrets of the Obscure to help you make an informed decision.

 

Pros:

  • Streamlined Sky Scale Acquisition: One of the major perks of this expansion is the streamlined method to acquire the Sky Scale mount. The Sky Scale is a flying mount that's more challenging to obtain than the Griffin, another flying mount in the game. This expansion offers a more accessible way to unlock the Sky Scale, which can be a game-changer for traversing the expansive world.
  • Open World Legendary Items: Guild Wars 2 features legendary gear, which offers the same stat values as ascended gear but with added customization options. This expansion introduces the possibility of obtaining legendary gear through open-world gameplay, catering to more casual players who may not engage in competitive PvP or raid content. This allows players to achieve high-end gear by participating in the game's core strengths, like dynamic events and map-wide metas.
  • Community Engagement: Purchasing the expansion allows you to experience the new content alongside the community. Launch day and the initial weeks of an expansion are filled with excitement, as players explore new zones, tackle challenges, and engage in new story content together. Joining at this time enables you to be a part of the collective enthusiasm that accompanies fresh content releases.
  • Access to Future Story Content: By purchasing Secrets of the Obscure, you gain access to any additional story content that ArenaNet releases as part of the expansion's ongoing narrative. This ensures that you stay up-to-date with the evolving storyline without the need to purchase each individual update separately.

 

Cons:

  • Missed Previous Story Content: New players who jump into Guild Wars 2 with this expansion miss out on nearly a decade's worth of previous story content. While not everyone is heavily invested in lore, those who enjoy a cohesive narrative may find themselves at a loss, as they haven't experienced the progression and events that led up to the current expansion.
  • Limited Mount Variety: Although the streamlined acquisition of the Sky Scale is beneficial, new players who opt for this expansion miss out on the variety of mounts introduced in the previous expansion, Path of Fire. Each mount offers unique traversal abilities that add depth to exploration and can cater to various gameplay preferences.
  • Learning Curve for New Players: Guild Wars 2 is known for its unique mechanics and features, which might be overwhelming for new players jumping into the game through this expansion. While ArenaNet has been working on improving in-game tutorials and explanations, some players might find it challenging to grasp the intricacies of the game's mechanics without the context provided by earlier content.

 

Skyscale Bonus Masteries

The Secrets of the Obscure expansion introduces an exciting addition to the game: the Skyscale mount, capable of flight. However, to unlock the full potential of the Skyscale's infinite flight via ley lines, ownership of the War Eternal Living World episode is mandatory. Although you'll still have access to updrafts, your experience with the Skyscale may be somewhat limited without this episode.

 

Missing Mounts

Opting for the standalone Secrets of the Obscure expansion means that you'll only gain access to the Skyscale mount. Unfortunately, this choice comes at the cost of missing out on a spectrum of other mounts like the raptor, springer, skimmer, jackal, roller beetle, siege turtle, and griffin from the Path of Fire expansion. Each mount brings its unique movement abilities, enriching your exploration options and gameplay depth.

 

No Glider Access

Traversing the expansive landscapes of Guild Wars 2 efficiently often requires a glider. Regrettably, Secrets of the Obscure doesn't grant you access to this invaluable tool. While the Skyscale can avert accidental falls, the sheer convenience and freedom of gliding shouldn't be underestimated, especially when navigating the sky islands featured in this expansion.

 

Elite Specializations

Elite specializations function akin to subclasses or specializations in other MMOs, infusing your character with specialized skills and mechanics. By purchasing only Secrets of the Obscure, you'll be missing out on these elite specializations—except for the revenant class. These specializations are pivotal for diverse roles and optimal group performance, particularly in boon support roles. The absence of elite specializations may constrain your role choices and impact your effectiveness in group content.

 

Expansion Size

Secrets of the Obscure, in comparison to its predecessors, is a more modest expansion. Upon launch, it boasts two maps, with another one slated for addition later in the year. This compact scale may not fully encapsulate the expansive content experience emblematic of Guild Wars 2 expansions, which typically encompass four to five maps. If you're seeking an extensive content offering, pairing Secrets of the Obscure with another expansion might be prudent.

 

Exploring Alternative Expansion Options

Considering the aforementioned factors, it's worthwhile to explore alternative expansion options to maximize your Guild Wars 2 journey. Here are some recommendations:

 

Path of Fire and Heart of Thorns Bundle This comprehensive bundle, especially during sales, delivers exceptional value. It includes a plethora of mounts (raptor, skimmer, springer, jackal, griffin), two elite specializations per class, gliding, raids, and two expansion campaigns. This package provides a well-rounded Guild Wars 2 experience, catering to various playstyles.
Secrets of the Obscure (End of Dragons) Should you still be drawn to Secrets of the Obscure, you'll gain access to one elite specialization per class, the glider, raptor, springer mounts, a boat, fishing, and four strikes (10-man boss fights). This option is ideal if you're inclined toward the most recent content and can accept certain limitations.
Complete Collection For the ultimate immersive experience, the Guild Wars 2 Elder Dragon Saga Complete Collection is the definitive choice. This all-encompassing package features all three expansions (Path of Fire, Heart of Thorns, and End of Dragons) and all living world content. With over a dozen new zones and ample opportunities for gear and material farming, this collection guarantees a comprehensive and rewarding gameplay journey.

 

Conclusion:

Secrets of the Obscure undoubtedly holds promise and excitement, yet new players might uncover a more encompassing experience by initiating their Guild Wars 2 adventure with other expansions. The Path of Fire and Heart of Thorns bundle emerges as an excellent value proposition, catering to a wide range of player preferences. If your heart yearns for the latest content, embarking on the Secrets of the Obscure journey alone remains a viable option. Prioritize your preferences, budget constraints, and desired gameplay experience to make an informed choice that will shape your Guild Wars 2 odyssey. And remember, the base game offers a free opportunity to immerse yourself in the vanilla story before committing to a purchase.

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