Guild Wars 2 Gets New Dungeon, Custom Arenas
ArenaNet has revealed what awaits players in the concluding chapter to Guild Wars 2’s Flame and Frost event when it launches on April 30.
Flame and Frost: Retribution, the fourth and final part of the Flame and Frost living story event that’s been unfolding in the game since January, will introduce a new dungeon and custom arenas to the buy-to-play MMO, as well as tying up some of its narrative threads.
For those who haven’t been following the title too closely, Flame and Frost is a series of episodic updates that have been made to Guild Wars 2, evolving the narrative themes of the world through what the development team refers to as “living story”.
Earlier episodes saw the Charr and Norn fleeing their respective homelands following a series of disasters, later revealed to be the work of the Molten Alliance, a dangerous new coalition formed of Flame Legion and dredge forces. But while the previous three updates have seen the situation in Tyria deteriorate as the Alliance pushed their advantage, Retribution marks the point where this all changes: where you’re tasked with taking the fight to them, before it’s too late.
Retribution marks the point where everything changes: where you’re tasked with taking the fight to the Molten Alliance, before it’s too late.
It’s been discovered that the Molten Alliance has created a foundry under the Shiverpeaks where they’re creating dangerous new weapons that threaten all of Tyria. This is the backdrop for the new Molten Weapons Facility dungeon, where you’ll be attempting to rescue prisoners and put the Alliance down once and for all alongside the Norn Braham and Charr Rox.
Created by a different team to the usual dungeon designers, ArenaNet is hoping that this will create a different type of dungeon to the others found in the game. As a result only an explorable mode of the dungeon will be available; there’s no story mode, as the Molten Weapons Facility is designed specifically to frame the final events of Flame and Frost, arguably making such a mode redundant.
Each encounter within the dungeon itself is designed to teach players mechanics they haven’t encountered before, from jumping over ground attacks to using pushbacks to knock enemies out of protective auras, culminating in a final battle designed to test players’ proficiency with everything they’ve learnt. The incentive for re-running it once it’s been completed will apparently be powerful rewards and a sense of achievement stemming from increased expertise when dealing with these new abilities.
But while some of the narrative threads introduced during Flame and Frost will be tied up in Retribution, others won’t be, leaving more questions that the team hope to answer in the future months and years to come. As for all the content that’s been introduced so far during the living world event, that won’t be vanishing anytime soon either.
It’s not just the story of Guild Wars 2 that’s progressing in this update though; a fair few improvements for the PvP section of the game will also be introduced.
It’s not just the story of Guild Wars 2 that’s progressing in this update though; a fair few improvements for the PvP section of the game will also be introduced, including Custom Arenas and Spectator Mode. Though they’ll still be in beta form when added to the game next week, so only a limited number will be able to create an arena, everyone will be able to play in them – the hope being that this is a foundation that can be built upon later.
Custom Arenas will allow players to host private or public matches where map settings may be altered, including team size and score limit. Created by an item available in the gem store, they’ll initially come with a month of game time, though this can be extended by purchasing time tokens. Interestingly, you can buy time tokens and award them to other peoples’ arenas you enjoy playing in, with the idea being that server-supported communities will spring up around the best ones. Rewards will still be available in the custom arenas, though in a bid to avoid win-trading and breaking the system, standard configurations of players must be maintained in order to qualify.
Spectator mode, as you can probably guess, will enable you to see the skill bars of others, along with their traits and gear, to learn how to best improve your own playstyle or just help you with your shoutcasting. You can even jump into the mode mid-match, look at someone who took you out and see how they play, then jump back into your character and try again. This mechanic is ripe for exploitation, though, and the ArenaNet team will be keeping an eye on how it’s used and making changes as required before it’s moved out of beta.
These are the major additions coming on April 30, but new World vs. World abilities including Arrow Cart Mastery and an extended Guard Killer line will also be added to the game, along with a new guild rush in Frostgorge Sound and 24 new guild trek locations.
IGN will be going hands on with the new content later this week, so check back next Monday to get our impressions on the final chapter of the Flame and Frost saga.
Luke Karmali is IGN’s UK Junior Editor and MMO fan. You too can revel in mediocrity by following him on IGN and on Twitter.
By Luke Karmali