The Living Story in Guild Wars 2 has had a pretty big build up over the last few months. The grand finale for the Flame and Frost storyline is finally here, and ArenaNet is ending it with a bang! There are a few ways they could have ended this story arch. Some of us thought a large series of dynamic events would be used. Others felt they would use an instance like they did with The Razing. While either of these could have worked just fine, you can’t go wrong with a dungeon. Dungeons are such a big part of the MMO experience, so this type of ending just feels right. ArenaNet showed us lucky members of the press the new dungeon for Retribution over this past weekend. And I have to say, they did the right thing.
The final chapter for the Flame and Frost has players join in on an assault against the Molten Alliance. You’ll join Rox and Braham as they enter a Molten Weapons Facility to free the Norn and Charr prisoners. The look and feel of the testing facility is very similar to the Sorrow’s Embrace dungeon in Guild Wars 1. Steel creates a smooth surface for floors and walls. Machinery and tools are scattered throughout the tunnels, showing signs of intense wear. Without a doubt the Molten Alliance has been very busy.
The new dungeon looks amazing, and so do the new types of enemies. From information we found in the dead drops in the previous chapter, we knew the Dredge and Flame Legion were creating new types of weapons. Finally we will get to see these things in action. The new enemies are outfitted with new types of rifles, and magic, firing all sorts of different projectiles, like scattered blasts and strange pulses. The enemies are grouped together in such a way that you have to pay attention to patterns in order to know when to dodge and weave in between shots. When looking at a fight from a top down angle, the fights kind of reminded me of shooter games. The enemies are paired up in a way so that they all work together. It’s not just a random mob.
The final boss continues the theme of coordinated attacks. A huge oversized Flame Legion Charr goes around bashing and smashing players into the ground, while a really cool looking Dredge Mech flies above, firing off some heavy ammo. See our full video of the tour below for a look at both. It’s a really well thought out fight that should give players a good challenge in a way none of the previous dungeons have done before. The Charr has a special type of attack where he jumps sending shock waves. The Dredge Mech will often fire in areas to force you near the edge of the platform. Don’t be surprised if you get knocked off. It’s this type of enemy coordination that makes this dungeon feel unique.
PvP players have something to look forward to as well! Custom Arenas are on their way! Finally players can create a match with complete control. You can choose how many players can be in a match, what maps will cycle through your server, access passwords, and you can even ban players. Of course, this should only be used on those who are jerks. There are a few other settings too. I think this is what the PvP community has been wanting since launch but the wait is nearly over, and it should go a long way towards putting GW2 on the eSports map.
Of course there are some ways this control could be used for the forces of evil, such as players trying to switch to the winning team right at the last moment (but the custom arena owner can disable team-switching as well). The feature is going to go through a beta process with top ranking tournament players, and other betas keys may be given out as well. Keep your ears to the wind, as I’m sure more info on changes will be heard soon. And of course, be on the lookout for details on MMORPG.com’s own Arena Server, which we’ll be using to host tournaments in the very near future.
Custom Arenas aren’t the only new feature coming to PvP, though. ArenaNet will be adding in spectator mode for every PvP map. Players can switch from several cameras placed around the map which are located in key areas where the action takes place. The locations were picked based on the experiences the developers have had while playing, and I think they’ve mapped everything out pretty well. All the cameras allow you to get enough coverage of the entire map. There’re only a few very small blind spots.
If a spectator clicks on a player, they are then switched to that player’s perspective, even seeing their skill bars as if they were playing. It’s a great way for new players to come in and see what other players are using. Be sure to have a notepad ready, you might learn some new tricks.
These updates are going to be pretty big. The new dungeon is both fun and challenging, and the new custom arenas will improve the PvP experience giving players the control that has been on everyone’s wish list. I just want to thank the ArenaNet devs once again for giving us a tour of the new upcoming content. It’s nice to play through content early, but I’ve been itching to play the dungeon all weekend with my guild. It’s hard to get a taste for something just to wait a few more days to play through again. It’s like the beta weekends all over again.
What are you looking forward to with update? Let us know in the comments below!
David North / David North is a freelance writer for MMORPG.com. David loves to play and makes games, but now he writes about them! If you want to creep on him and make fun of his ability to draw, follow him over on twitter @David_the_North.