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Guild Wars 2 Column: Exploring the Twilight Assault Update

By David North on October 01, 2013

During Clockwork Chaos, Scarlet Briar stepped into the living story of Guild Wars 2. ArenaNet crafted this new, devious villain to spread chaos and hopelessness across the lands of Tyria. Players may have stopped her plan during the Queen’s Jubilee, but Scarlet is still out there. She's plotting, and setting things into motion that could be disastrous. Prepare for the Twilight Assault.

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That's right everyone, it's time for some new content. This time ArenaNet is trying something a little different. Twilight Assault won't play out like an event, but will be adding in new permanent content to the game. The Spider Path in the Twilight Arbor explorable dungeon is being replaced with a new path that will be for level 80 characters with harder challenges, and greater rewards.

ArenaNet gave members of the press a tour through the first part of the path. Players will be assisting the Lion's Guard as they investigate rumors of Aetherblade activity. Along the path players will face off against familiar enemies in the Twilight area, but don't be surprised if the rumors of Aetherblades are true. The Aetherblades have been rebalanced for the world, so you won’t be stunned as much, but they will be stronger in other areas.  To make things even worse, Steam Watchers float around looking for intruders. If you don't act fast whole squads of Aetherblade Pirates will rain down on you to make you wish you never took the assignment.

The fights are well planned, and the environments, though similar to the other Twilight Arbor paths, looked amazing. But what really impressed me with the dungeon is the puzzle mechanic that was introduced. There's a certain point in the path where players are trapped in a room that's filled with fire. There are two paths that can be walked through, with a geared mechanism that can open the door. The problem is the gear won't turn. Sadly WD-40 doesn't exist in Tyria, but that's what ooze is for!

Players have to cover themselves in ooze pheromone and lure an ooze through the clear path. Now don't go too fast or you'll lose the ooze. Stick too close and the ooze will start to attack you. The rest of you team will need to take care of fire elementals before they kill the ooze. Sounds easy right? Well not so fast, you have bring 2 ozees to the gear, at the same time. Several members of the press, including myself, watched as the dev team failed over, and over, and over again. To say it looked tough is an understatement.

Now the puzzle only introduced this mechanic. It really starts to shine during the first boss fight. Players fight off against a duo named Sparki and Slick. The two work together to cause fires in the area, making things hot, and the air toxic. Players will have to coordinate who is covered with the ooze pheromone, and lure the ooze around to absorb the toxic pits being creating. You have to do all this while also fighting off both bosses at the same time.

ArenaNet showed only a tiny bit more.  The last thing we got to see was an Aetherblade facility. It looked like something was being built, or possibly researched.  We were also able to see the modifications the Aetherblades made to the holographic generators, using them to create small armies. Not good! Once again the lure mechanics come into play to take these things out, but I’ll leave you all to figure that out for yourselves.

If you're able to clear this new path, you may receive a new blue version of a Twilight Arbor weapon (see below). I myself would have preferred brand new weapon skins, but maybe other players will enjoy the new blue variants.  You also have the option of completing small tasks at the end of the dungeon path to open up to 5 other chests, one for each task you complete. This is optional, but who wouldn’t want more loot?

While recent updates have added temporary bits of content, Twilight Assault adds a permanent addition to the game. It's an interesting route to go with, especially when you look at the fact that this new dungeon path is replacing another. The only thing puzzling me is why the path is at level 80, much higher than the other 2 Twilight Arbor dungeons. Perhaps this is a move to expand on “endgame” content, and replace dungeon paths that are rarely played. It was mentioned that replacing, and reworking, other paths in other dungeons wasn't out of the question. Who knows? But for now we've got to stop Scarlet before something bad happens, again.

Some of the new weapons you can earn from TA.

A big thanks to ArenaNet for giving us the sneak peek.  Which is your favorite dungeon path?  Which dungeon do you feel needs to be reworked?  Share your thoughts 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.


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