If you’re coming from another fantasy MMO, then the concept of dungeons won’t be anything new to you. They’re still the instanced, group-based PvE zones you know and love. There are differences in how dungeons in Guild Wars 2 are designed, however, and understanding those differences will greatly increase your enjoyment.
First and foremost, without the holy trinity of other games, you don’t have dedicated tanks, healers and damage dealers. Instead, everyone needs to be accountable for their own health and well-being. Some professions bring a lot of support and utility to the fight depending on their build, but you can’t sit back and put your life in someone else’s hands the way you can in other games. Without tanks, everyone needs to contribute to managing aggro, enemy positioning and crowd control. This responsibility won’t fall upon a single player (the traditional tank) while everyone else just focuses on their optimal damage rotation. That kind of gameplay is static and stale, and has no place in the next generation of MMOs.
The second major difference is that each dungeon is split into two distinct experiences: Story Mode and Explorable Mode. The main goal in this article will be to explain the differences in those two modes, increase your understanding of their place in the game, and help you enter them with the proper expectations.
Here at Guild Wars Insider, we do our best to bring you the latest in Guild Wars 2 news, the freshest in content and anything that falls in-between. For months, we’ve worked to keep you informed both on how to best succeed at playing this game and how, day to day, the world of Tyria has evolved through its long, tenuous development cycle.
We’ve been writers. We’ve been reporters. Columnists. Editors. Some of us came because of our writing talents and the desire to use them in conjunction with a game we’ve come to love. Others came simply because we couldn’t get enough of what was going on in Tyria, and we wanted to be just a few feet closer than the rest. But tonight, as the United States timezones shift past midnight and our calendars flip to Saturday, August 25, we will briefly shed our roles at Guild Wars Insider and, at least for one night, become gamers once again.
Here’s how we will celebrate.
I’m buying myself a brand new desk and going out with friends to dinner before we all pull an all-nighter that we will forever remember. :3
Also: Stocking up on pizza rolls and bagel bites.
The year is 1325 AE, 250 years after the events of the first Guild War.
The five races of Tyria stand at the edge of a cliff. The Elder Dragons have awoken. Zhaitan has raised the ancient city of Orr, Kralkatorrik’s flight has made the Crystal Scar, and Jormag holds the North. Primordius’s minions bubble up from the deep places of the earth, and a sinister force has been felt in the deepest reaches of the ocean. The five dragons’ effects are felt everywhere.
Yet there is hope. The five great races of Tyria are finally at a point where they can work together. The long-standing feud between the Charr and the humans has come to a momentary pause with the return of the Claw of the Khan-Ur last year. While the humans face issues holding their territory, fighting off bandits and centaurs, the Charr face issues in their expansion in Ascalon, namely the ongoing war with the Flame Legion.
The Asura and Sylvari face internal conflicts in the Maguuma Jungles. The Asura seek to hinder the morally-suspect Inquest, and the Sylvari are dealing with the renegade faction of the Nightmare Court, who threaten the stability of the Pale Tree. The Norn base themselves in the Shiverpeak Mountains, from which they hope to move north and fight the dragon Jormag, as well as the Sons of Svanir who follow him.
The free city of Lion’s Arch, rebuilt after its destruction by the tidal wave created by Orr’s raising, serves as a staging ground for three groups hoping to stop the Dragons from further destruction. The Vigil hopes to stop these beasts directly as a military force, while the Durmand Priory hope to locate some form of lost knowledge through which the Dragons might be defeated. But the Order of Whispers believes that the Dragons cannot be killed, and instead can only be put sent back into the deep sleep they awoke from.
Meanwhile, the rest of Tyria marches on. It is a new era of wondrous machines and magic. The Charr and Asura–geniuses in the areas of engineering and the arcane–have introduced new technologies to Tyria, which will doubtless be used to great effect in the years to come. Yet some races are being left behind. While the Hylek and the Dredge seem to have begun to catch up with the technology of the other races in their own ways, the Grawl and Ogres have been left behind.
Others have been handling the changes to the world in their own ways. In the far north, The Kodan have sailed south, fleeing Jormag’s reach, their glacial homes drifting into the newly-made bodies of water. And all the while, the bird-like Tengu watch the rest of the races from behind the walls of the Dominion of Winds, waiting to see which side they will join.
This is the world your character will make its mark in. It is a world of great danger, but also of great hope.
World versus World is an incredible amount of fun, and is absolutely the most robust, balanced and well-executed world PvP system I’ve experienced in a MMO. It can be a little daunting the first time you step into the Eternal Battlegrounds, with all of those keeps, towers and supply camps just waiting to be pillaged, it’s hard to know where to start. The goal of this article is to help you get your bearings with some basic defensive tips. Consider these the rules of engagement.
BE PREPARED. ALWAYS CARRY SUPPLY.
As I said in my article about going on the offensive in WvW, the first thing you need to do in WvW is grab supply from the nearest depot. Every fortified objective, from Stonemist Castle all the way down to your basic supply camp, will have a little stack of crates and barrels marking their supply stores. You can carry a maximum of 10 supply at a time, and you should have 10 on you whenever you are in WvW.
Supply is the fuel of combat in WvW. Without it, you are extremely limited in your effectiveness. Your general goal should be to protect your supply chain at all times while denying the enemy theirs. Even the mightiest gate can’t hold forever if it’s unable to be repaired. Likewise, your keep assaults will be long and frustrating and mostly end in failure if you don’t bring supply and the siege equipment necessary to make short work of enemy fortifications. (more…)
One of the most noticeable things about Guild Wars 2’s combat is your ability to move out of the way of incoming attacks. I know, I know, its not radical, but stick with me. You can move out of the way of dangerous attacks in Guild Wars 2 through two different actions. First, normal movement can actually get you out of the way of things, but more regularly you will use an evasive dodge roll.
But why dodge?