The limited preview a few fansites and press had last week for Guild Wars 2 was run by Leif Chappelle. He was part of the team that designed the new path to Twilight Arbor, but the team had already cut its teeth on the Aetherblade Retreat dungeon. Chappelle’s dungeon design experience stemmed from the Molten Alliance dungeon. This was a pretty good start to creating a team that would make the level 80 dungeon path for Twilight Arbor.
For some fans the decision to make another path would come at too great a cost because the new path replaced the much reviled forward/up path. Of course now to some the lovingly named TAFU (Twilight Arbor Forward Up) was the best dungeon path in the game. Chappelle already addresses these concerns with diplomatic aplomb on the official forums; although he acknowledges that some fans will not be happy regardless.
Getting back to the content (and preview) the dungeon is created so that the encounters prior to the bosses provide meaning. Chappelle wanted encounters to build on themes and mechanics. The dungeon is also encounter gated so running past a group of wurms, for example, simply won’t happen. We only saw one boss, but it is very reminiscent of the final boss in the Molten Alliance dungeon with some serious differences.
I won’t go too much in to spoilers (check out these previews for more of that: The Pale Tree, GuildMag, GW2Hub, Dulfy), but I do want to note that this path has some serious ties to the Living World. Namely the current super-villain Scarlet is the one gunning for the Nightmare Tree with the help of her Aetherblade faction. She also is making ties with the Nightmare Court too. However unlike the aforementioned Living World dungeons this path is permanent. Chappelle teased that the path’s lore was designed in such a way that it would make sense even if the Living World moved on.
The next Guild Wars 2 bi-week is going to be focused on dungeons, and for this period the Twilight Assault path will have increased rewards that will get reduced after the next update. Be sure to make good use of the new LFG tool in game (press “Y”) if you need help with the party. Now to wait for those lovely patch notes.