Guide for Returning Guild Wars 2 Players

Flying demon in Guild Wars 2

Are you coming back to Guild Wars 2 after a long absence? Welcome back! We’re excited to have you. You might be feeling a little overwhelmed by all the new GW2 stuff, but don’t worry, Scout Warband’s got your back.

I Just Came Back, Where Do I Start?

The last few years have brought us a huge chunk of content in the form of Living World and expansion pack storylines. It has also doubled the number of maps, and added new functionality in the form of Mastery tracks.

Wondering if you should buy the expansion packs? The answer is, absolutely! If you can only buy one, we recommend buying Heart of Thorns first.

If You Have No Expansion Packs

Don’t worry, you are not alone. A decent-sized chunk of Guild Wars 2 players don’t have the expansion packs, and they’re doing fine. The “core Tyria” maps are still well-populated, and WvW and PVP are as busy as ever.

Boss Train is still a thing, although not to the extent it used to be. Check the World Boss Timer on the wiki to find out who’s up next.

The biggest meta event and gold farm in the base game is the Silverwastes map. This map was added during Season 2 of Living World story. But don’t worry, you don’t have to do story to get to Silverwastes. Go to Fort Vandal in Brisbane Wildlands, then head through the portal to the north.

You will still be able to participate in seasonal festivals, and ArenaNet has promised us one festival per season. If a festival is going on, check out our helpful articles for more information.

If You Have Either Expansion Pack

Buying either Heart of Thorns or Path of Fire will unlock the Central Tyrian Mastery Track. Earn XP in the core Tyria (i.e. original base game) maps to unlock special bonuses. The best of these are:

  • Legendary crafting (if you’re in to that sort of thing)
  • Pact Supply Network Agents for farming gold via Map Bonus Rewards
  • Mentor Tag

Be sure to always consume a food and a utility buff, as each of these add 10% XP gain, and it stacks.

Heart of Thorns

If you can only afford one expansion pack, we recommend you buy Heart of Thorns because it was the first expansion. There are five new maps, and each one has its own map-wide meta. You can check out the GW2 Ninja Maguuma Jungle Timer to find out which meta is up next.

You will also need to start by picking a Heart of Thorn Mastery Track. Earn XP in the Heart of Thorns maps to advance the track. Be sure to always consume a food and a utility buff, as each of these add 10% XP gain, and it stacks. If you are a member of a guild with a tavern, grab a tavern XP buff, too.

The best Heart of Thorns mastery, by a long shot, is gliding. Gliding is not only necessary on many maps, it is also really really fun. And it works on all of the core Tyria maps, too! No more falling damage – just glide down from wherever you are. It’s pretty fantastic.

Path of Fire

If you buy Path of Fire, the big thing is MOUNTS. You get the basic raptor mount just for starting the story, and this mount offers a significant movement speed boost right out of the box. Tired of slogging along as a slow-ass Guardian or Warrior? Not a problem anymore! See our mounts guides to find out more.

Path of Fire brings five additional maps to the game, and each one is absolutely huge. Instead of having a meta, each map has a set of bounties which you can unlock at the bounty board. You will need a big group of players to do a bounty, so your best bet is to find a bounty train on LFG and join up.

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