Peek at Guild Wars 2 Dungeons

The November issue of the UK PC Gamer came with a handful of pages on Guild Wars 2. One of the posters at Guru went above and beyond in tracking down a copy of the newly released magazine to disseminate any exclusive info to the masses. Big thanks to Lyssa for taking that time, and then taking the time to do a “live”-posting of info as he read. I would expect a couple official dungeon articles from ArenaNet in October, but in the meantime, let’s look at this new information.

Dungeons are instanced content nodes in Guild Wars 2 that tie heavily in to a player’s personal story and then branch out into repeatable content. It seems that to attune to the dungeon, the player has to get to that point in their personal story. The dungeon’s first phase overlaps with the personal story, and the player is joined by a NPC’s (and any supporting players) to finish this phase. Once the personal story phase is completed, the dungeon opens up into an explorable mode with follow-up adventures that are designed to be repeatable. It is unclear now, but I would expect the explorable areas to mostly be group oriented and not part of the personal story.

One example that Lyssa writes about from the UK PC Gamer is the Sorrow’s Embrace dungeon. The personal story phase has the player discovering that dredge leaders are selling their comrades in to slavery, and the goal seems to be fighting off the slavers. Afterwards, the  explorable mode will open up with the repeatable content where a goal might be trying to overthrow the corrupt dredge leaders. Another example is the mid-level Ascalon catacombs where players will fight the Foefire created ghosts including bosses that used to be Guild Wars Prophecies skill trainers and possibly King Adelbern as the dungeon boss.

Guild Wars 2 dungeons seem to be one of the design concepts that actually crossed over from Guild Wars, but they just call it a different name now. For the most part, they are basically Guild Wars missions (in the Factions / Nightfall vein) with the explorable areas unlocked afterwards. Granted they are a bit more distilled to provide more specific purpose than the broad swath of content that the old explorable areas provided.

Finally, the rewards that the dungeons provide will be statistically equal to rewards gained from other activities. Players will be choosing rewards based on appearance rather than the tier of power. The rewards will also be given through a barter system, where each player will receive barter tokens rather than rolling for that one rare weapon with a 0.1% drop chance.

Like I said, I expect ArenaNet to chime in with official posts later in October, likely after the December issue of the US PC Gamer hits the streets mid-October with ‘exclusive dungeon info.’ Hopefully we also get a 5th profession reveal soon. A lot of people believe it will be the assassin profession, which will be exciting to see.

smash, grab! pinch, nab!

25 thoughts on “Peek at Guild Wars 2 Dungeons”

  1. Any info you have on GW2, keep it coming. I’ll eat it all up. I can’t wait for GW2 to come out.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. That works so much better then WoW dungeons, in that with the Dungeon Finder I was doing dungeons 10-20 times before I even found the area where they existed on the map. I had no idea why they existed in the world . It made WoW feel even more like a big lobby where we all staged to do instances, not unlike Global Agenda. Stupid.

    On the negative side I hope that tokens are not the only reward. Dungeon instances as vending machines doesnt work for me. They need at least a chance that something rare can still be found.

    1. “They need at least a chance that something rare can still be found.”

      Which is exactly what most people don’t want. Most people want to just play the game, and not have to repeat certain tasks over and over just to get something they like.

      Your suggestion would be catering to the tiny minority that would actually be that lucky to receive that drop, and not to the overwhelming majority.

      1. As long as the rare item is random then I’m all for rare drops in dungeon. Tokens just dumbs down the game imo. I do not play WoW anymore since there is no sense of real accomplishment when everybody gets everything.

        1. Do you realize you are contradicting yourself? If a drop is random, how is it an accomplishment to get one? That’s luck, not hard work.

          Working for tokens to buy an expensive (rare) item is hard work.

          1. I saw a demo where they said that bosses (world bosses specifically) would all have a small chance to drop some rare items – the example given was that the Skale Brood Mother in Queensdale dropped a bag (I think of loot, not like a backpack, but not sure).

            Eric then went into some detail how the drop chance worked: Each player that participated in the kill rolled separately to see if they got something – so there was never a fight over who got a valuable item. In fact, you wouldn’t even see that someone else got something that you didn’t, and it would be possible for everyone to get lucky, and win the super rare item of uberness.

            They didn’t discuss it in the video, but I assume this will work similarly in dungeons – so there will be random drops, but they’ll be more like “each player has an independent 5% chance to get [Pirate Hat of Effusive RPing]”. To be clear, though, they were very specifically talking about open world bosses in the video I saw, and didn’t mention dungeons directly. This is just a guess on my part.

      2. I agree with Naoroji in general, the last thing GW2 wants to do it go down the path of forcing players to do specific content because it’s the only way to get important rewards. That leads to the Darkside (aka WoW dungeons)

        But that’s not to say that there might not be dungeon rewards that could be difficult to obtain. Achievements or titles for example.

        They mention we’ll be picking gear based on appearance, perhaps we gain unique looking gear from Dungeon-derived tokens which is the same in stats to other gear, but just looks different/cooler.

        Or perhaps we could have things appear in our Personal instance like a statue built by the grateful Dredge that you helped to free.

      3. Repeating a dungeon over for one piece of armor – or to get the tokens needed to buy the item = same thing. I like at least a chance every run that something will drop that will save me 9 more runs, but knowing that at 10 runs I can just buy the damn piece. The RNG makes dungeons and grinding in general a little more interesting. If slot machines only paid out every 100 pulls who would play them?

    2. It’s likely that dungeons will have special mobs that drop certain things more often, but nothing awesome. That would defeat the purpose of the casual nature of GW2. It’s been stated before that Anet doesn’t want you to be forced to “grind” a dungeon for rare loot, when you can get it from doing Events, and just buy it from a Karma Vendor.

  3. It’s likely that dungeons will have special mobs that drop certain things more often, but nothing awesome. That would defeat the purpose of the casual nature of GW2. It’s been stated before that Anet doesn’t want you to be forced to “grind” a dungeon for rare loot, when you can get it from doing Events, and just buy it from a Karma Vendor.

  4. The special item token sounds like it is only tradeable to specific dungeon-linked npcs and only dungeons. I think that’s cool since we’ll have unique gears for each npc vendor.

  5. Achievement unlocks and barter tokens (and dye unlocks for that matter) are fine in themselves, but without “physical” object drops in the world the whole feel of the virtuality is diminshed.

    My first encounter with “barter” drops (“currencies” as I think they are more usually known?) was when DAoC introduced them with Darkness Falls. I didn’t like them much then and I’ve never really liked them since.

    If Devs want to remove the camping/random element then I’d prefer they just used a fixed drop table.

    Not that it’s any kind of deal-breaker. I’m inured to these currency systems now. Generally I just ignore them and go without the rewards altogether.

  6. wrong. No one knows how many tokens you need to get a piece of gear from a npc. You might need to do an instance 5 times to get your precious gear, but we don’t know how many tokens will drop and how many are needed to buy the gear. In my opinion, since they are creating this game to be anti grind they should make tokens drop enough that each run you can get something new, whether its that cool looking shoulder piece or new dyes.

  7. Well, the debate rages on.

    I personally did not mind Everquest, where 4 items dropped from a boss that was on a 7 day spawn timer (Nagafen). Oh.. wait… yes I did. What a timesink.

    Anything that is exclusively available from 1 in-game monster is terrible design. Particularly if said monster has any kind of spawn timer or restrictions.

    GW2 has no subscription fee, so there is no need for the developers to put the proverbial carrot on the proverbial stick and prevent players from advancing.

    They’ve already flattened out the experience curve.

    They’re already making the game as fun and approachable as possible. Exclusive loot isn’t going to make it fun, and I hope they patently ignore any/all ‘hardcore’ gamers who want to make the game cater to elitist, jobless and social-lifeless gamers.

  8. I used to think randomized elite drops were good until I did it for 5 years.

    Slaver’s Exile vs. DoA is the best example I think. I’ve done Slaver’s Exile 250+ full runs (I have a stack of armor remnants) and I’ve gotten only 4 voltaic spears. Considering how many full runs I went on that is ridiculously low.

    I’d rather have the DoA style (like GW2) where you are still challenged by the dungeon but you are guaranteed a rare item after a certain amount of runs. Remember that DoA still had gems drop from monsters, so there was still that feeling of “HELL YES I HAD A LUCKY RUN”.

  9. One interesting (and likely) compromise is to have unique token-based vendors available right after each dungeon in addition to generic vendors, so that all dungeons still have unique rewards even if you can use accumulated tokens from elsewhere. Notice that’s already how karma/events work ;)

  10. Tokens are okay, but the problem with them is that people can and will stop running the content a lot sooner, making it obsolete.

    It also takes a little away from the concept of a MMO, in where you are no longer finding treasure from a defeated strong enemy, but are just scratching up tally marks to buy things. It may be needed to keep people sane, but it feels lacking.

    1. My only argument to you is that you’re failing to apply your ‘concept of MMO’ equanimously. You think it is ok to kill the same ‘unique’ boss-creature in a ‘unique’ dungeon 45 times in 1 day, but you don’t like the idea of tokens.

      Pot, meet kettle.

      The reality is that if you’re going to run an instance multiple times, tokens are the best way devised to-date to reward players for their effort. Kind of like DKP was implemented by players themselves as a meta-game rule to even out the complete randomness of dungeon-boss-drops. We won’t need DKP if the system is inherently balanced.

  11. I think the best way to let everyone have their cake is to make it so the dungeon tokens are awarded in a random amount, but with a fixed minimum. Say you wanted to buy an item that costs 10 dungeon tokens, and you know the minimum payout for the dungeon is 2 tokens. So at most, and keeping within the anti-grind philosophy, you have to do the dungeon 5 times to get your gear. But on the first run you get lucky and receive 8 tokens, so now you only have to do it one more run to get your shinnies.

    Effort remains, but theres that element of ‘luck’ for you slot-machine junkies.

    1. How are token part of an anti grind philosophy? With random drops you don’t run the dungeon expecting to receive a rare item but you do it every now and then for the chance. if you are promised a reward after a certain number of dungeon runs it starts feeling like a chore you have to do it a certain number of times to get the reward. if the item is guaranteed after a specified number of runs the item would become common very quickly. there’s little motivation to grind for an item everyone else can easily obtain. randomising the amount of tokens revived only increases frustration as instead of 10 runs to get an item it becomes 10-15, little difference.

  12. I think that the best solution to resolve the grinding problems is macking worth you getting a type of gear, witch i’m talking about instance quest npcs. Like give yoou various types of tasks like not only killing quests (wich would continue to obligate you to grind) instead you get rare drops on for ex weapons or gems and crafting rare mterials on table loots, tokens that would be for non set gear parts like rings earrings(if there is any ) and so, and the quests would be chained quests with more than one npc per instance… the only 2 issues are the bugs it may cause and the lag it may bring to the game (reasoning that some dumb players may be an issue too but that’s not their fault) …. i guess it’s a better idead than the only tookens or number of runs…or the table loots only … (btw the game could contain hard chests… for ex. chests protected by a group of elite mobs with an average/hard dificulty , plus the tokens would be obtained in more than one instance/dungeon . Plus achievements could do more than give you achievement points and be achievment points that would give you chance of obtining some types of items) that would endurance the gameplay plus tatics, would give players a way to be interested in playing and not only starting to go for pvp , if f this would be able to put in the game , with the game actualizations and evolution people would have always something to do besides pvping after reaching the max tweak of their chars…
    Nevertheless achievement points could also reslt in a title.
    P.S sorry for my english … it may be rusty =P

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