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Guild Wars 2 Previews: A Peek into the November Update

By Michael Bitton on November 12, 2012

Hot on the heels of the October update and the ‘Mad King’ Halloween event, Guild Wars 2 is set to expand again. We recently had a chance to chat with the folks over at ArenaNet about the upcoming November content update, including the fast approaching ‘Lost Shores’ weekend event, new PvP map, and new dungeon.

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Temple of the Silent Storm PvP Map

 

The ‘Temple of the Silent Storm’ is a new sPVP map coming to Guild Wars 2 with the November content update. The map takes place on and inside a massive iceberg, which features a large temple that serves as a place of meditation and training dojo for Guild Wars 2’s armored polar bear race, the Koden. ArenaNet is emphasizing a sense of verticality with this map and just like all of the Guild Wars 2 PvP maps, the ‘Temple of the Silent Storm’ will feature conquest gameplay with a twist.

The twist is in the series of buffs that will be strewn throughout the map. Players can meditate at certain areas to acquire buffs that confer bonus points for a variety of activities, ranging from killing other players to capturing objectives. However, the buff that is likely to be contested the most is one that will reset all the capture points throughout the map.

Lost Shores Weekend Event

 

The ‘Lost Shores’ weekend event will be a one-off event in Guild Wars 2 that will run between Friday, November 16 through Sunday, November 18.  ArenaNet describes the theme of the event as being a “monster movie, invasion type thing” that will focus on the lore of Lion’s Arch. During the event, Lion’s Arch will be invaded by a new enemy group called the ‘Karka’.  We’re told the Karka will be quite challenging for Guild Wars 2 players and will even feature a number of new mechanics for players to overcome in order to emphasize this. Visually, the Karka will feature a heavily armored shell of sorts that players will have to penetrate. ArenaNet has even worked on a new shader technology that allows players to actually see pieces of the armor fall off of the Karka as they wear it down.

That all comes later, though. Initially, players will be unable to penetrate the Karka’s armor and it’s this roadblock that will kick off a series of events taking players throughout the world as they learn about the Karka’s origins and research a means to get through theseemingly impenetrable armor. In the process, players will learn of the ‘Consortium’, a new faction of Lion’s Arch merchants that represent a sort of alternative to the Black Lion Trading Company that players are already familiar with.

Eventually, players will learn how to penetrate the Karka’s armor and this will bring players to the Karka’s home turf on a new island in the Sea of Sorrows called The Lost Shores. While the Karka don’t originally come from The Lost Shores, they have a significant presence on the island, having settled there for some time. The island itself will be a level 80 zone, but ArenaNet will have a system in place to sidekick lower leveled players up so they can take part in the event. However, it’s important to note that the Lost Shores island will remain as a level 80 zone once the weekend event is completed but players will no longer be sidekicked up after this point.

Of course, the Lost Shores will also be host to the standard fare stuff players can expect to find on any of Guild Wars 2’s explorable maps. Players will find myriad events, jumping puzzles, resource nodes, and more on the Lost Shores. ArenaNet also made note that some of the events on the island will take a different turn from some of the typical events in Guild Wars 2 by allowing players to make a permanent impact on the landscape.

Finally, the weekend event will culminate in a multi-part chain finale event that we’re told will take considerable time and effort for players to progress through. We weren’t able to learn more about the finale, as ArenaNet is keeping things under wraps for now, but suffice it to say that the team is pretty confident that players will enjoy the experience and especially the special reward that players will receive.

Fractals of the Mist Dungeon

 

The ‘Fractals of the Mist’ dungeon is a result of all the lessons ArenaNet has learned from developing the game’s initial dungeon offerings as well as the feedback they’ve received from players on dungeon content since launch. Players will enter the Fractals of the Mist dungeon via a central hub that will feature an assortment of amenities such as repair NPCs and other merchants. Once players have gathered their party members, they will be launched into one of the nine ‘fractals’ that will be randomly selected for each group.

Each fractal’s experience will be similar to that of the various mini-dungeons littered throughout the open world of Guild Wars 2. These fractals will feature a variety of challenges, puzzles, and boss fights, with an emphasis placed on use of the environment. Players can expect each fractal to take anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes to complete and the game will throw you through a series of three fractals, from one to the next, before returning you to town.  Every other set of three fractals that players complete will initiate a special boss fight along the lines of Tequatl the Sunless or The Shatterer.

Once players return to town, future entries into the dungeon will scale to become harder than the last. The amount of enemies players will face will increase as will their health and damage, for example. Of course, you can also expect commensurate rewards for completing harder versions of the dungeon.

Speaking of rewards, the Fractals of the Mist Dungeon will introduce the new ‘Ascended' item type. This type is a bit more powerful than the Exotic quality items currently found in the game. There will only be a couple of Ascended quality items available initially, but some of the rarer Ascended items will also feature a new Infusion slot that will make players even more powerful so that they can tackle new challenges that ArenaNet plans to throw at them as they continue to expand on the dungeon over the coming months and years.

Wrapping Up

The main takeaway from the November content update is that ArenaNet is looking to offer something for everyone. If you can’t get enough of PvP, you’ll have the new map and other inroads ArenaNet is making towards eSports, such as the introduction of paid tournament tickets. The traditional Guild Wars 2 PvE experience will expand with the Lost Shores content. And finally, those who just love a good dungeon romp will have the Fractals of the Mist to adventure through.

What do you think of ArenaNet’s plans for Guild Wars 2 in November? Let us know in the comments below!


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