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Guild Wars 2: What Lies Within Hands-On Preview

Robin Baird Posted:
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With today’s update, What Lies Within, Guild Wars 2 continues the storyline that started at the end of February in the What Lies Beneath update. After plunging deep into the caves of Gyala Delve and wrestling the Commander’s lingering demons from recent events, we get to press on and see what’s behind it all. Last week I had the opportunity to play through the new release and get some burning questions answered. So, let’s hop in and get to it.

The new meta event functionally extends the existing meta in Gyala Delve. After fighting back the Oni and slaying the other creatures which pop-up right after, we team back up with our friends and work our way up the far left side of the map to the final confrontation. Siege Turtles, once again, are a huge part of not only breaking our way through barriers but are also needed to collect energy and power up batteries on the way. Since not everyone has their turtle unlocked, turtle rentals are available throughout the path so everyone can participate.

Guild Wars 2

It isn’t just making our way back up the map that the turtles are needed; they also figure heavily into the final fight. Since they are being used so much in this update, ArenaNet made a small change to how the turtle mounts work. Previously after using the turtle’s slam attack, there would be a few seconds before you could move again, which made progressing the second half of the meta feel stilted. To address this, they’ve shortened the downtime after the slam attack, and it’s a huge difference. Every time I ride with someone in their turtle, and they use the slam attack, it feels like it takes forever for them to get moving again, especially when my canons are out. With this update, the pause before being able to move again is barely noticeable. I don’t want to spoil everything about the final fight, but using the turtle during it felt both valuable and fun. There are also things people can do if they don’t want to ride along or rent a turtle.

As I mentioned, ArenaNet knows many players still need to unlock their Siege Turtle mount. They also noticed that the spot most players are stuck on is completing the Kaineng strike mission. Having this requirement has been a hot-button issue for many players, but the fact that ArenaNet has decided to address it does seem to indicate it’s been more of a roadblock than intended. After today’s update, the strike mission will still work, but there will also be a vendor in Gyala Delve who will sell the needed item for map currency as an alternative. This is a great compromise, especially considering how much the turtle has been utilized already.

After completing the entire meta event in Gyala Delve, the map converts to a peaceful version of itself. The quiet time lasts one hour and has a visible timer so players can track how much time they have left to explore. This doesn’t mean there are no enemies left on the map after the meta, just far fewer than there typically are. One thing they did make clear was that although players might find themselves loading into a map where the meta is in progress, they shouldn’t zone into a map that has already finished the meta. I also asked if it might be possible to get ferried into a completed map by grouping up with someone in a completed version. Unfortunately, they didn’t think it would work that way. This is a bit disappointing because I could see there being days when I only have a short time to play and want to do the new jumping puzzle, new roller beetle race, or explore a bit. Knowing you’ll need to have time to do all of the meta first, could be a bit of a deterrent for some. I’ll test it out, in any case.

Speaking of the new jumping puzzle, I spent some of my free roam time with that, and as someone perpetually jumping challenged, I had a lot of fun with it. At first, it was a bit of a puzzle to figure out how to get to the start of it. Hint: It’s in a cave inside the giant skeleton in the ceiling. The first time I did it, I spent about seven minutes from start to finish, and a good bit of that was figuring out where I needed to go and how to get there. Although, both of those things are far more obvious than some other jumping puzzles (looking at you chalice of tears). None of the jumps are challenging; more than anything, it plays with perception, which was a ton of fun. Also, I almost forgot to mention that you take no fall damage in this cave. So, when I would get almost to the end and fall, it was no big deal. I highly recommend checking that out, even if you usually avoid jumping puzzles.

What Lies Within also marks the last update we’ll be getting on the old style of content updates. Moving on from here, we’ll see ArenaNet execute their plan to change how they deliver content to hopefully provide a more consistent schedule. We don’t know what that’ll look like for us, but seeing how it all unfolds will be interesting. For now, I’m looking forward to spending a lot of time in Gyala Delve.


Robin Baird

Robin loves RPGs, MMOs, JRPGs, Action, and Adventure games... also puzzle games... and platformers... and exploration games... there are very few games she isn't interested in. When it comes to MMOs she focuses on WoW and GW2 but will pick-up other games as they catch her fancy. She's a habitual returner to FFXIV because that game is an all-around great MMO.